DETROIT (AP) — Rick Porcello pitched a four-hitter for his second straight shutout, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 3-0 victory over the Oakland A’s on Tuesday night.
Porcello (11-4) only had one career complete game before blanking the Rangers on June 26, but is now the first Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris to throw back-to-back shutouts. Morris threw three in a row in July 1986.
Porcello is now 3-0 with 24 scoreless innings over his last three outings. He became the first pitcher since Baltimore’s Jeff Ballard on Aug. 21, 1989, to throw a shutout without a walk or strikeout. No Tigers pitcher had done it since Dizzy Trout in 1944.
Brad Mills (1-1) took the loss for Oakland, allowing three runs and six hits with three walks in six-plus innings.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera walked, took third on J.D. Martinez’s double and scored on a groundout by Torii Hunter.
Oakland, in the meantime, was becoming the latest team to struggle for answers against Porcello, managing only two hits in the first six innings.
Martinez, starting for the second straight night while Victor Martinez deals with soreness in his left side, made it 3-0 with a two-run homer in the sixth. After moving into the everyday lineup in early June, J.D. Martinez is hitting .376 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 19 games.
After that, the only suspense was if Porcello could finish off the shutout, and do it in under 100 pitches. He accomplished both, getting Brandon Moss to fly out to end the game on his 95th pitch.
NOTES: Victor Martinez took batting practice before the game, and told Tigers manager Brad Ausmus that he could play, but Ausmus decided to rest him for another day. … Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos took full advantage of his position in Detroit’s shifted defense, picking up a pair of 5-3 assists while playing in short right field. … Oakland C Derrick Norris is getting closer to returning from a sore back, and could play in Wednesday’s series finale. … The time of the game was 2:13, meaning that a 7:08 start ended less than 10 minutes after sunset.